With all of July’s scorching data in, the European climate monitoring group declared it conclusively: July 2023 was by far the hottest month on record for Earth.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service, a division of the European Union’s space program, reported Tuesday that the world’s average temperature for July was 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 degrees Fahrenheit), a third of a degree Celsius (six tenths of a degree Fahrenheit) higher than the previous record set in 2019.
This margin is noteworthy because global temperature records are typically broken by hundredths or tenths of a degree.
“These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever-more frequent and intense extreme events,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of Copernicus.
Deathly heat waves have been experienced in Mexico, the Southwest United States, Europe, and Asia. The combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas has been linked to climate change that is driven by humans.
From July 2 on, days have been warmer than previously seen. Copernicus and the World Meteorological Organization announced unusually early that it was likely the hottest month just days before it finished due to the unusually warm weather.
The calculations on Tuesday made it official. Compared to pre-industrial times, the month was 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. The world’s governments came to an agreement in 2015 to work toward preventing long-term warming that is 1.5 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times, rather than only a few months or even years.
According to Copernicus, this month was so hot that it was 7.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the typical July from 1991 to 2020. Oceans around the world were 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (half a degree Celsius) warmer.
Records from Copernicus date back to 1940. That would be a hotter month than any in the United States.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has kept track of data since 1850. However, according to scientists, it hasn’t been this hot in a very long time. Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany, stated, “It’s a stunning record and makes it quite clearly the warmest month on Earth in ten thousand years.” He didn’t work with the Copernicus group.